Power Up!: Payment Process Gets An Upgrade

When we first launched the Powerpack a year ago, we set up Google Checkout as the primary payment system. It was easy to set up, it was affordable and it meant Andrew could get back to adding new features to Alfred.

Opinions about Google Checkout were very divided; Some of you liked it but many felt Google knew enough about them already without handing their card details over. I handled numerous PayPal transactions manually; not great as the manual license creation meant there was a delay, and if I’ve learned anything about Alfred users is that you’re keen to play with Powerpack features as soon as you can! :)

Foxy CartAfter much research and investigation, we opted for the excellent Foxy Cart platform to handle the checkout process. The lovely Zaharenia did a great job of making your checkout experience as pleasant experience by prettying it all up!

As a result, buying the Powerpack is now a smoother and simpler process, with debit/credit card or PayPal option, as you prefer. Best of all, no need to dig around online for your license code, it’ll arrive straight to your inbox, wearing its bowler hat proudly.

If you’ve yet to buy your own copy of the Powerpack, why not grab it now? Do give us a shout when you’ve made your purchase as we’d love your feedback.


New Support Site & Over 100 Awesome Alfred Extensions

Since we released version 0.9.9, you have been creating some fantastic extensions to improve your productivity.

We published the first few extensions in August to give you a taster for what could be done with extensions. Powerpack users have since created over 100 extensions so we’ve added a whole new section to our new support site to show off the best extensions.

The new support site

In preparation for version 1.0 and Alfred being all grown up, we’ve created a new support site. On it you will find:

Huge thanks go out to Wikidot for the platform itself and to Bryce from Roaring Apps for suggesting it early on. Also, Zaharenia, who has done a great job wrestling Wikidot into the design you’re seeing today.

Submitting your own extensions

As so many great extensions are being sent our way, I wrote a little guide to submitting an extension. By following 3 simple steps, you’ll help us make the most of the Extensions section of the site and we’ll be able to give you credit for your creation.

Note: If you’re one of the early birds who created a script we’ve already listed, please help us by adding the information in the guide above to your extension’s page.

Finally, we can’t say it enough – thank you so much for your energy and support. We love seeing the extensions, custom themes, custom searches and everyday uses you’ve found for Alfred, so keep tweeting us and telling your friends about Alfred. You make every day of work much more fun! :)

Peace, love and bowler hats,

Giveaway: Celebrate the Powerpack’s 1st birthday with a silly hat picture!

A lot can happen in a year. 12 months ago, we introduced the Powerpack as a very useful add-on to the free version of Alfred. The first Powerpack release had three main features: File System navigation, Result actions and basic control of iTunes with the initial Mini Player.

Since then, the Powerpack has grown and grown, adding significant functionality with every release and over 12 major features. Have a peek at the change log to see just how much has changed. And there’s still so much more to come!

Celebrating with a giveaway

To celebrate the Powerpack’s 1st birthday, we’ve decided to have fun and give away a few treats – seeing as we can’t send you all cake in the post. The winners will receive Alfred goodies and a Powerpack license (or an upgrade to Mega Supporter for existing users).

Andrew Jack and Vero in silly hats

How to enter? Here’s the fun part:

To enter this giveaway you’ll need to show us your style. The sillier the better, we think, and the winners will be chosen based on their originality so get creative!

1. Take a picture of you wearing a silly hat, 2. Tweet the following message:

Wear a #sillyhat & join the @alfredapp giveaway fun: http://bit.ly/sillyhat – here is my hat…

If you are logged into the Twitter website,
use this button to tweet: Click to tweet

Don’t forget to add the #sillyhat hashtag and your picture to your tweet, as this is how we’ll find your tweets! For example, here is my tweet:

Wear a #sillyhat and join the @alfredapp giveaway fun! http://bit.ly/sillyhat – here is my hat http://yfrog.com/hstgz9j

You only have 3 days to enter this giveaway so don’t delay! We will post the winners on Friday 26th August 2011. The competition is now closed and we’ve announced the winners below. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Announcing the winners

We’ve absolutely LOVED every contribution; from the traditional to the quirky. We’ve laughed our heads off at some of the more… original ones! And finally, we’ve picked five winners.

The winners will get each a Powerpack or upgrade to Mega Supporter, as well as some Alfred goodies in the mail.

As we truly believe that it isn’t about winning, but about taking part, as your mum told you after the school football game, we’re giving everyone who participated a 25% discount on their very own Powerpack/upgrade. Simply email us with a link to your #sillyhat tweet and we’ll issue a manual discounted invoice for you :)

Without further ado, here are our five winners:

Silbert, for his magnificent top hat and magnifying glass (and smurf)

Casey Crowdis for… wearing a dog on his head

Christine for her tasty watermelon hat

Steven Pilkington for the rather awesome Sonic the Hedgehog hat

Scott Is Loud, who happily wears a colander on his head (and is also Canadian, woot!)

Sneak peek: “Neighbours” feature for Alfred 0.9

This was a parody post for April 1st. Unfortunately, Universal Powerline Cloud™ technology which allows for effortless and security free connection to your neighbours networks doesn’t exist :)

Over the past few weeks, Andrew has been working on a new feature for version 0.9 which we’ve kept under wraps until now. This feature will make Alfred the most useful app in your household; it will help you communicate effectively with your community and influence what happens behind closed doors. Alfred will be more powerful than ever before.

So without further ado, here’s a sneak peak of “Neighbours”, the greatest feature for Alfred yet:

“Neighbours” feature

Neighbours feature

With the new “Neighbours” feature, no house will ever be an island again. Just use the keyword “neighbour”* inside the main Alfred window and choose from the available list of neighbourhood computers.

Neighbours feature

Once you’ve chosen a computer to connect to, use Alfred with the keywords and shortcuts that you’re used to. Alfred will help you quickly find documents on your neighbour’s Mac or PC. Check out Jimmy’s latest school report card, connect to their music library, or copy over the files you have been chatting about.

Security & hassle free

Because we are using new Universal Powerline Cloud™ technology, Alfred will be able to effortlessly connect to your neighbours networks and computers without having the hassle of authentication. Even better, Alfred doesn’t need to be running on their computer (Mac or PC) to be able to browse and search their files.

It’s convenient and fast and you’ll never have to wait for your neighbour to take the time to send the files over! Just pop into Alfred, quickly identify the file you want, maybe take a peek at what they have been up to over the past few days and you are done, without them even having to know.

We give you Alfred Neighbours – Bringing you and your neighbours much closer together.

* As Alfred is a true English butler, you are required to spell it “neighbour”. No alternative keyword will be accepted.

We’re heading to South by Southwest Interactive

Next week, the Alfred team (Andrew, Anna and myself) will be heading to Austin, Texas. South by Southwest Interactive is a conference held in the city that likes to keep it weird. Developers, designers, marketing types and all sorts of interesting people gather for a few days of interesting talks and keynotes, as well as a lot of Tex Mex and margaritas.

If you’re attending, please let us know on Twitter (@alfredapp) or look out for Anna and I who will both be wearing Alfred bowler hats. We’ll be giving away Alfred goodies and stickers, so come and grab a sticker that you can wear with pride!

We’ll no doubt tweet and announce an informal Alfred meetup, but don’t wait for it, come say hi!


[Photo credit: David Herrera on Flickr]

Alfred celebrates his first birthday today!

When Andrew and I look back at how much has happened in the past year, since we first released Alfred on a Sunday night while watching the Canada vs USA hockey game during the Olympics, it’s hard to believe it’s only been a year.

Back then, Alfred did little more than launch web searches and search your local computer. Since then, we’ve added a vast number of features throughout the year, launched the Powerpack in August and built a wonderful community of users we love.

We wouldn’t be where we are without you, so let us tip our bowler hat off to you. Since we can’t invite you all over for a big party to celebrate, we are offering a 10% discount on the Powerpack for single user licenses.

To get your discount, use the code BDAYCAKE11 [now expired] in the coupon code field when you proceed to Google Checkout. Act fast as the discount is only valid until Wednesday 2 March 2011 4PM GMT/8AM PST and applies to single user licenses.

Here’s to many more years of productivity on our Macs!

Vero (@vero)

Get Alfred stickers & more from our Zazzle store

The community around Alfred has been amazing so far and we truly appreciate your interest and support.

As many of you have been asking for some Alfred-branded loveliness, we’ve now set up a Zazzle store to reach as many of you as possible (although if you’re coming to SxSW, we’ll be bringing some exciting swag as well :) ).

We thought we’d start small with some Alfred hat stickers (as shown in this post) and some mugs. Beyond this, we’ll let you decide the direction the store should take. Are you keen for some T-shirts with funny taglines, keychains to hold your all-important house keys or buttons to wear around to show just how much you use Alfred?

Let us know in the comments to this blog post. We’ll listen and act accordingly.

All proceeds from the sales will go to both local UK charities, as well as international ones so you’ll be doing good while you show off your Alfred love.

What are you waiting for? Check out the Alfred Zazzle store.